Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

Are you scared yet? – Updated

Updates are in the body of the post.

I often see some disturbing parallels between our current administration and Obama supporters on one side, and totalitarian regimes from history on the other side.  Those totalitarian regimes had one important component: the cult of personality.  I, along with others, mentioned this disturbing trend of Obama supporters to create his cult of personality before.  But whenever I mention my concerns to many people I know, both Obama and McCain voters, they dismiss those concerns and insist that it will never happen in this country.  Well, here is another disturbing video of kids singing praises to Obama, this time apparently organized by their teacher at some elementary school, and apparently during school time:

Update:

The video was removed from Youtube, but thankfully Bookworm has posted the transcript:

Mmm, mmm, mm!

Barack Hussein Obama
He said that all must lend a hand [?]
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!

Barack Hussein Obama
He said we must be clear today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!

Barack Hussein Obama
He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!

Barack Hussein Obama
He said Red, Yellow, Black or White
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!

Barack Hussein Obama
Yes
Mmm, mmm, mm!

Barack Hussein Obama

It was a bit hard to make out what the kids were chanting, but it was clear that they were chanting the President’s name and said that he was number one.  Go here and here to see some bits transcribed.  There was also this "study guide", clearly pushing certain political agenda on kids.  And this.

Am I still an alarmist?  Are you scared yet?

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September 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Comparing Obama administration to Nazis, fascists and communists

There are many people who share my views on the current administration who don’t think that comparing to leftist totalitarian regimes is useful.  One of the most outspoken on this is Charles Johnson of Little Green FootballsBookworm also suggested that it should not be done (also here).  Even my fellow Protest Warriors argued against it.  Back when I suggested comparing the leftist demonstrators to Nazis, it was not so much because I view the leftist ideology as similar to National-Socialism, but for the shock value: the Left does not expect anybody to compare them to Nazis.  But any careful review of the leftist ideology will reveal their desire to perfect society by subordinating individual liberties to what they consider the common good, with the state as the enforcement mechanism.  And there lie the similarities between the modern Left and the totalitarian regimes of the past and present, including the Nazi regime.  Whenever the term "Nazi" invoked, people immediately think of the Holocaust.  But that is not the only thing the German Nazis did.  Jonah Goldberg in his "Liberal Fascism" brilliantly shows the similarities between the Left and the German and Italian versions of Fascism.  He also points out that Hitler’s genocidal anti-Semitism was not at all common to all of such movements.  In fact, Mussolini considered it stupid.  I highly recommend this book.  Whoever reads it will learn to look beyond the Holocaust and will see the horrors of totalitarian ideology even without Nazis’ genocidal policies.  Whoever reads it will also learn that the horrors perpetrated by various totalitarians are the direct result of their desire to perfect society.  As they say, "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

As I was considering this post, I received an e-mail from a friend.  The e-mail contained an open letter supposedly written by Ayn Rand in 1941.  I attempted to verify that this is indeed her open letter, but only could find the same letter here and here.  While reading it, I found myself largely agreeing with what Ayn Rand supposedly wrote back in 1941.  Given similarity of my background to that of Ayn Rand, this is not surprising.  Here is that letter, entitled "To All Fifth Columnists":

You who read this represent the greatest danger to America.

No matter what the outcome of the war in Europe may be, Totalitarianism has already won a complete victory in many American minds and conquered all of our intellectual life. You have helped it to win.

Perhaps it is your right to destroy civilization and bring dictatorship to America, but not unless you understand fully what you are doing.

If that is what you want to do, say so openly, at least to your own conscience, and we who believe in freedom will fight you openly.

But the tragedy of today is that you — who are responsible for the coming Totalitarian dictatorship of America — you do not know your own responsibility. You would be the first to deny the active part you’re playing and proclaim your belief in freedom, in civilization, in the American way of life. You are the most dangerous kind of Fifth Columnist — an innocent subconscious Fifth Columnist. Of such as you is the Kingdom of Hitler and of Stalin.

You do not believe this? Check up on yourself. Take the test we offer you here.

1. Are you the kind who considers ten minutes of his time too valuable to read this and give it some thought?

2. Are you the kind who sits at home and moans over the state of the world — but does nothing about it?

3. Are you the kind who says that the future is predestined by something or other, something he can’t quite name or explain and isn’t very clear about, but the world is doomed to dictatorship and there’s nothing anyone can do about it?

4. Are you the kind who says that he wishes he could do something, he’d be so eager to do something — but what can one man do?

5. Are you the kind who are so devoted to your own career, your family, your home or your children that you will let the most unspeakable horrors be brought about to destroy your career, your family, your home and your children — because you are too busy now to prevent them?

Which one of the above are you? A little of all?

But are you really too busy to think?

Who "determines" the future? You’re very muddled on that, aren’t you? What exactly is "mankind"? Is it a mystical entity with a will of its own? Or is it you, and I, and the sum of all of us together? What force is there to make history — except men, other men just like you? If there are enough men who believe in a better future and are willing to work for it, the future will be what they want it to be. You doubt this? Why then, if the world is doomed to dictatorship, do the dictators spend so much money and effort on propaganda? If history is predestined in their favor, why don’t Hitler and Stalin just ride the wave into the future without any trouble? Doesn’t it seem more probable that history will be what the minds of men want it to be, and the dictators are smart enough to prepare these minds in the way they want them, while we talk of destiny and do nothing?

You say, what can one man do? When the Communists came to power in Russia, they were a handful of eighteen men. Just eighteen. In a country of [170,000,000] population. They were laughed at and no one took them seriously. According to their own prophet, Karl Marx, Russia was the last country in which Communism could be historically possible, because of Russia’s backwardness in industrial development. Yet they succeeded. Because they knew what they wanted and went after it — historical destiny or no historical destiny. Adolf Hitler started the Nazi Party in Germany with seven men. He was laughed at and considered a harmless crank. People said that after the Versailles Treaty Germany could not possibly become a world power again, not for centuries. Yet Hitler succeeded. Because he knew what he wanted and went after it — history or no history. Shall we believe in mystical fates or do something about the future?

If you are one of those who have had a full, busy, successful life and are still hard at work making money — stop for one minute of thought. What are you working for? You have enough to keep you in comfort for the rest of your days. But you are working to insure your children’s future. Well, what are you leaving to your children? The money, home, or education you plan to leave them will be worthless or taken away from them. Instead, your legacy will be a Totalitarian America, a world of slavery, of starvation, of concentration camps and of firing squads. The best part of your life is behind you — and it was lived in freedom. But your children will have nothing to face save their existence as slaves. Is that what you want for them? If not, it is still up to you. There is time left to abort it — but not very much time. You take out insurance to protect your children, don’t you? How much money and working effort does that insurance cost you? If you put one-tenth of the money and time into insuring against your children’s future slavery — you would save them and save for them everything else which you intend to leave them and which they’ll never get otherwise.

Don’t delude yourself by minimizing the danger. You see what is going on in Europe and what it’s doing to our own country and to your own private life. What other proof do you need? Don’t say smugly that "it can’t happen here." Stop and look back for a moment.

The first Totalitarian dictatorship happened in Russia. People said: well, Russia was a dark, backward, primitive nation where anything could happen — but it could not happen in any civilized country.

The next Totalitarian dictatorship happened in Italy — one of the oldest civilized countries of Europe and the mother of European culture. People said: well, the Italians hadn’t had much experience in democratic self-government, but it couldn’t happen anywhere else.

The next Totalitarian dictatorship happened in Germany — the country of philosophers and scientists, with a long record of the highest cultural achievements. People said: well, Germany was accustomed to autocracy, and besides there’s the Prussian character, and the last war, etc. — but it could not happen in any country with a strong democratic tradition.

Could it happen in France? People would have laughed at you had you asked such a question a year ago. Well, it has happened in France — France, the mother of freedom and of democracy, France, the most independent-minded nation on earth.

Well?

What price your smug self-confidence? In the face of millions of foreign money and foreign agents pouring into our country, in the face of one step after another by which our country is [moving] closer to Totalitarianism — you do nothing except say: "It can’t happen here." Do you hear the Totalitarians answering you — "Oh, yeah?"

Don’t delude yourself with slogans and meaningless historical generalizations. It can happen here. It can happen anywhere. And a country’s past history has nothing to do with it. Totalitarianism is not a new product of historical evolution. It is older than history. It is the attempt of the worthless and the criminal to seize control of society. That element is always there, in any country. But a healthy society gives it no chance. It is when the majority in a country becomes weak, indifferent and confused that a criminal minority, beautifully organized like all gangs, seizes the power. And once that power is seized it cannot be taken back for generations. Fantastic as it may seem to think of a dictatorship in the United States, it is much easier to establish such a dictatorship than to overthrow it. With modern technique and modern weapons at its disposal, a ruthless minority can hold millions in slavery indefinitely. What can one thousand unorganized, unarmed men do against one man with a machine gun?

And the tragedy of today is that by remaining unorganized and mentally unarmed we are helping to bring that slavery upon ourselves. By being indifferent and confused, we are serving as innocent Fifth Columnists of our own destruction.

There is no personal neutrality in the world today.

Repeat that and scream that to yourself. In all great issues there are only two sides — and no middle. You are alive or you are dead, but you can’t be "neither" or "in between." You are honest or you are not — and there is no neutral "half-honest." And so, you are against Totalitarianism — or you are for it. There is no intellectual neutrality.

The Totalitarians do not want your active support. They do not need it. They have their small, compact, well-organized minority and it is sufficient to carry out their aims. And they want from you is your indifference. The Communists and the Nazis have stated repeatedly that the indifference of the majority is their best ally. Just sit at home, pursue your private affairs, shrug about world problems — and you are the most effective Fifth Columnist that can be devised. You’re doing your part as well as if you took orders consciously from Hitler or from Stalin. And so, you’re in it, whether you want to be or not, you’re helping the world towards destruction, while moaning and wondering what makes the world such as it is today. You do.

The Totalitarians have said: "Who is not against us, is for us." There is no personal neutrality.

And since you are involved, and have to be, what do you prefer? To do what you’re doing and help the Totalitarians? Or to fight them?

But in order to fight, you must understand. You must know exactly what you believe and you must hold to your faith honestly, consistently, and all the time. A faith assumed occasionally, like Sunday clothes, is of no value. Communism and Nazism are a faith. Yours must be as strong and clear as theirs. They know what they want. We don’t. But let us see how, before it is too late, whether we have a faith, what it is and how we can fight for it.

First and above all: what is Totalitarianism? We all hear so much about it, but we don’t understand it. What is the most important point, the base, the whole heart of both Communism and Nazism? It is not the "dictatorship of the proletariat," nor the nationalization of private property, nor the supremacy of the "Aryan" race, nor anti-Semitism. These things are secondary symptoms, surface details, the effects and not the cause. What is the primary cause, common to both Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, and all other dictators, past, present, and future? One idea — and one only: That the State is superior to the individual. That the Collective holds all rights and the individual has none.

Stop here. This is the crucial point. What you think of this will determine whether you are a mental Fifth Columnist or not. This is the point which allows no compromise. You must choose one or the other. There is no middle. Either you believe that each individual man has value, dignity and certain inalienable rights which cannot be sacrificed for any cause, for any purpose, for any collective, for any number of other men whatsoever. Or else you believe that a number of men — it doesn’t matter what you call it: a collective, a class, a race or a State — holds all rights, and any individual man can be sacrificed if some collective good — it doesn’t matter what you call it: better distribution of wealth, racial purity or the Millennium — demands it. Don’t fool yourself. Be honest about this. Names don’t matter. Only the basic principle matters, and there is no middle choice. Either man has individual, inalienable rights — or he hasn’t.

Your intentions don’t count. If you are willing to believe that men should be deprived of all rights for a good cause — you are a Totalitarian. Don’t forget, Stalin and Hitler sincerely believe that their causes are good. Stalin thinks that he is helping the downtrodden, and Hitler thinks that he is serving his country as a patriot. They are good causes, both of them, aren’t they? Then what creates the horrors of Russia and of Germany? What is destroying all civilization? Just this one idea — that to a good cause everything can be sacrificed; that individual men have no rights which must be respected; that what one person believes to be good can be put over on the others by force.

And if you — in the privacy of your own mind — believe so strongly in some particular good of yours that you would be willing to deprive men of all rights for the sake of this good, then you are as guilty of all the horrors of today as Hitler and Stalin. These horrors are made possible only by men who have lost all respect for single, individual human beings, who accept the idea that classes, races, and nations matter, but single persons do not, that a majority is sacred, but a minority is dirt, that herds count, but Man is nothing.

Where do you stand on this? There is no middle ground.

If you accept the Totalitarian idea, if the words "State" or "Collective" are sacred to you, but the word "Individual" is not — stop right here. You don’t have to read further. What we have to say is not for you — and you are not for us. Let’s part here — but be honest, admit that you are a Totalitarian and go join the Communist Party or the German-American Bund, because they are the logical end of the road you have chosen, and you will end up with one or the other, whether you know it now or not.

But if you are a Humanitarian and a Liberal — in the real, not the prostituted sense of these words — you will say with us that Man, each single, solitary, individual Man, has a sacred value which you respect, and sacred inalienable rights which nothing must take away from him.

You believe this? You agree with us that this is the heart of true Americanism, the basic principle upon which America was founded and which made it great — the Rights of Man and the Freedom of Man? But do you hear many voices saying this today?

Do you read many books saying this? Do you see many prominent men preaching this? Do you know a single publication devoted to this belief or a single organization representing it? You do not. Instead, you find a flood of words, of books, of preachers, publications, and organizations which, under very clever "Fronts," work tirelessly to sell you Totalitarianism. All of them are camouflaged under very appealing slogans: they scream to you that they are defenders of "Democracy," of "Americanism," of "Civil Liberties," etc. Everybody and anybody uses these words — and they have no meaning left. They are empty generalities and boob-catchers. There is only one real test that you can apply to all these organizations: ask yourself what is the actual result of their work under the glittering bromides? What are they really selling you, what are they driving at? If you ask this, you will see that they are selling you Collectivism in one form or another.

They preach "Democracy" and then make a little addition — "Economic Democracy" or a "Broader Democracy" or a "True Democracy", and demand that we turn all property over to the Government; "all property" means also "all rights"; let everybody hold all rights together — and nobody have any right of any kind individually. Is that Democracy or is it Totalitarianism? You know of a prominent woman commentator who wants us all to die for Democracy — and then defines "true" Democracy as State Socialism [probably a reference to Dorothy Thompson]. You have heard Secretary [Harold] Ickes define a "true" freedom of the press as the freedom to express the views of the majority. You have read in a highly respectable national monthly the claim that the Bill of Rights, as taught in our schools, is "selfish": that a "true" Bill of Rights means not demanding any rights for yourself, but your giving these rights to "others." God help us, fellow Americans, are we blind? Do you see what this means? Do you see the implications?

And this is the picture wherever you look. They "oppose" Totalitarianism and they "defend" Democracy — by preaching their own version of Totalitarianism, some form of "collective good," "collective rights," "collective will," etc. And the one thing which is never said, never preached, never upheld in our public life, the one thing all these "defenders of Democracy" hate, denounce, and tear down subtly, gradually, systematically — is the principle of Individual Rights, Individual Freedom, Individual Value. That is the principle against which the present great world conspiracy is directed. That is the heart of the whole world question. That is the only opposite of Totalitarianism and our only defense against it. Drop that — and what difference will it make what name you give to the resulting society? It will be Totalitarianism — and all Totalitarians are alike, all come to the same methods, the same slavery, the same bloodshed, the same horrors, no matter what noble slogan they start under, as witness Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.

Principles are much more consistent than men. A basic principle, once accepted, has a way of working itself out to its logical conclusion — even against the will and to the great surprise of those who accepted it. Just accept the idea that there are no inalienable individual rights — and firing squads, executions without trial, and a Gestapo or a G. P. U. will follow automatically — no matter who holds the power, no matter how noble and benevolent his intentions. That is a law of history. You can find any number of examples. Can you name one [counter-example]? Can you name one instance where absolute power — in any hands — did not end in absolute horror? And — for God’s sake, fellow Americans, let’s not be utter morons, let’s give our intelligence a small chance to function and let’s recognize the obvious — what is absolute power? It’s a power which holds all rights and has to respect none. Does it matter whether such a power is held by a self-appointed dictator or by an elected representative body? The power is the same and its results will be the same. Look through all of history. Look at Europe. Don’t forget — they still hold "elections" in Europe. Don’t forget, Hitler was elected.

Now, if you see how completely intellectual Totalitarianism is already in control of our country, if you see that there is no action and no organization to defend the only true anti-Totalitarian principle, the principle of individual rights, you will realize that there is only one thing for us to do: to take such action and to form such an organization. If you are really opposed to Totalitarianism, to all of it, in any shape, form, or color — you will join us. We propose to unite all men of good will who believe that Freedom is our most precious possession, that it is greater than any other consideration whatsoever, that no good has ever been accomplished by force, that Freedom must not be sacrificed to any other ideal, and that Freedom is an individual, not a collective entity.

We do not know how many of us there are left in the world. But we think there are many more than the Totalitarians suspect. We are the majority, but we are scattered, unorganized, silenced and helpless. The Totalitarians are an efficient, organized, and very noisy minority. They have seized key positions in our intellectual life and they make it appear as if they are the voice of America. They can, if left unchecked, highjack America into dictatorship. Are we going to let them get away with it? They are not the voice of America. We are. But let us be heard.

To be heard, however, we must be organized. This is not a paradox. Individualists have always been reluctant to form any sort of organization. The best, the most independent, the hardest working, the most productive members of society have always lived and worked alone. But the incompetent and the unscrupulous have organized. The world today shows how well they have organized. And so, we shall attempt what has never been attempted before — an organization against organization. That is — an organization to defend us all from the coming compulsory organization which will swallow all of society; an organization to defend our rights, including the right not to belong to any forced organization; an organization, not to impose our ideology upon anyone, but to prevent anyone from imposing his ideology upon us by physical or social violence.

Are you with us?

If you realize that the world is moving toward disaster, but see no effective force to avert it —

If you are eager to join in a great cause and accept a great faith, but find no such cause or faith offered to you anywhere today —

If you are not one of those doomed jellyfish to whom the word "Freedom" means nothing —

If you cannot conceive of yourself living in a society without personal freedom, a society in which you will be told what to do, what to think, what to feel, in which your very life will be only a gift from the Collective, to be revoked at its pleasure at any time —

If you cannot conceive of yourself surrendering your freedom for any collective good whatsoever, and do not believe that any such good can ever be accomplished by such a surrender —

If you believe in your own dignity and your own value, and hold that such a belief is not "selfish," but is instead your greatest virtue, without which you are worthless both to your fellow-men and to yourself —

If you believe that it is vicious to demand that you should exist solely for the sake of your fellow-men and grant them all and any right over you —

If you believe that it is vicious to demand everyone’s sacrifice for everyone else’s sake, and that such a demand creates nothing but mutual victims, without profiting anyone, neither society nor the individual —

If you believe that men can tell you what you must not do to them, but can never assume the arrogance of telling you what you must do, no matter what their number —

If you believe in majority rule only with protection for minority rights, both being limited by inalienable individual rights —

If you believe that the mere mention of "the good of the majority" is not sufficient ground to justify any possible kind of horror, and that those yelling loudest of "majority good" are not necessarily the friends of mankind —

If you are sick of professional "liberals," "humanitarians," "uplifters" and "idealists" who would do you good as they see fit, even if it kills you, whose idea of world benevolence is world slavery —

If you are sick, disgusted, disheartened, without faith, without direction, and have lost everything but your courage —

— come and join us.

There is so much at stake — and so little time left.

Let us have an organization as strong, as sure, as enthusiastic as any the Totalitarians could hope to achieve. Let us follow our faith as consistently as they follow theirs. Let us offer the world our philosophy of life. Let us expose all Totalitarian propaganda in any medium and in any form. Let us answer any argument, every promise, every "Party Line" of the Totalitarians. Let us drop all compromise, all cooperation or collaboration with those preaching any brand of Totalitarianism in letter or in spirit, in name or in fact. Let us have nothing to do with "Front" organizations, "Front" agents or "Front" ideas. We do not have to proscribe them by law. We can put them out of existence by social boycott. But this means — no compromise. There is no compromise between life and death. You do not make deals with the black plague. Let us touch nothing tainted with Totalitarianism. Let us tear down the masks, bring them out into the open and — leave them alone. Very strictly alone. No "pro-Soviet" or "pro-Nazi" members of the board in our organization. No "benevolent" Trojan horses. Let us stick together as they do. They silence us, they force us out of public life, they fill key positions with their own men. Let us stick together — and they will be helpless to continue. They have millions of foreign money on their side. We have the truth.

As a first step and a first declaration of what we stand for, we offer you the following principles:

We believe in the value, the dignity and the freedom of Man.

We believe:

— That each man has inalienable rights which cannot be taken from him for any cause whatsoever. These rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

— That the right of life means that man cannot be deprived of his life for the convenience of any number of other men.

— That the right of liberty means freedom of individual decision, individual choice, individual judgment and individual initiative; it means also the right to disagree with others.

— That the right to the pursuit of happiness means man’s freedom to choose what constitutes his own private, personal happiness and to work for its achievement; that such a pursuit is neither evil nor reprehensible, but honorable and good; and that a man’s happiness is not to be prescribed to him by any other man nor by any number of other men.

— That these rights have no meaning unless they are the unconditional, personal, private possession of each man, granted to him by the fact of his birth, held by him independently of all other men, and limited only by the exercise of the same rights by other men.

— That the only just, moral and beneficent form of society is a society based upon the recognition of these inalienable individual rights.

— That the State exists for Man, and no Man for the State.

— That the greatest good for all men can be achieved only through the voluntary cooperation of free individuals for mutual benefit, and not through a compulsory sacrifice of all for all.

— That "voluntary" presupposes an alternative and a choice of opportunities; and thus even a universal agreement of all men on one course of action is neither free nor voluntary if no other course of action is open to them.

— That each man’s independence of spirit and other men’s respect for it have created all civilization, all culture, all human progress and have benefited all mankind.

— That the greatest threat to civilization is the spread of Collectivism, which demands the sacrifice of all individual rights to collective rights and the supremacy of the State over the individual.

— That the general good which such Collectivism professes as its objective can never be achieved at the sacrifice of man’s freedom, and such sacrifice can lead only to general suffering, stagnation, and degeneration.

— That such conception of Collectivism is the greatest possible evil — under any name, in any form, for any professed purpose whatsoever.

Such is our definition of Americanism and the American way of life.

The American way of life has always been based upon the Rights of Man, upon individual freedom and upon respect for each human individual personality. Through all its history, this has been the source of America’s greatness. This is the spirit of America which we dedicate ourselves to defend and preserve.

In practical policy we shall be guided by one basic formula: of every law and of every conception we shall demand the maximum freedom for the individual and the minimum power for the government necessary to achieve any given social objective.

If you believe this, join us. If you don’t — fight us. Either is your privilege, but the only truly immoral act you can commit is to agree with us, to realize that we are right — and then to forget it and do nothing.

There is some excuse, little as it may be, for an open, honest Fifth Columnist. There is none for an innocent, passive, subconscious one. Of all the things we have said here to you, we wish to be wrong on only one — our first sentence. Prove us wrong on that. Join us.

The world is a beautiful place and worth fighting for. But not without Freedom.

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September 13, 2009 Posted by | Book Reviews, History | 6 Comments

Forwarding Republican Jewish Coalition Newsletter

Below is the Republican Jewish Coalition Newsletter.  I hope it will come out right on the blog.  There are a lot of interesting articles there.  Of particular interest are the ones about buyers remorse and analysis of Jewish vote.

RJC logo
News and Commentary from the RJC                                           September 10, 2009 

In This Issue
Speaking of Health Care
Health Care Pros and Cons
Obama takes unprecedented role at UN
Buyers’ remorse begins
Those liberal Jews
Iran-Venezuela axis is a growing diplomatic, military worry
What Carter missed in the Middle East
In NJ, RJC’er Barry Funt has a plan
Congressmen protest anti-Semitic article in Swedish newspaper
Remembering 9/11/01

RJC EVENTS 
(Click the date for event details.)

SAVE THE DATE!
10/13/2009 RJC National Women’s Committee "Day on Capitol Hill"

Arizona Chapter
9/16/2009 Energy and Environment Mythbusting with Drew Thornley

Atlanta Chapter
9/13/2009 Members-only brunch with Sen. Johnny Isakson

Austin Chapter
9/23/2009 Event with GOP State Chairman Tina J. Benkiser

Chicago Chapter
9/14/2009 Evening with Joel Pollak: Don’t Tell Me Words Don’t Matter

Cleveland Chapter
9/13/2009 September Discussion Group

Florida Region
9/14/2009 Members-only event with David Maymon, candidate for FL House

Knoxville, TN Chapter
9/10/2009 Health care reform forum

Las Vegas Chapter
9/15/2009 Myths and Facts on Energy and the Environment with Drew Thornley

Los Angeles Chapter
9/13/2009 Myths and Facts on Energy and the Environment with Drew Thornley

9/16/2009 National Women’s Committee luncheon in Santa Monica

10/7/2009 Discussion with Richard Brookhiser

Michigan Chapter
9/14/2009 Chapter organizational meeting

Minnesota Chapter
9/15/2008 Event with MN GOP Chair Tony Sutton

New York Region
9/23/2009 National Women’s Committee dinner in CT

9/24/2009 Protest Ahmadinejad at UN

North Texas Chapter
9/11/2009 Luncheon with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

Northern California Chapter
9/14/2009 Dinner and conversation with Drew Thornley

Northern Nevada Chapter
9/22/2009 Event with State Assemblyman Ty Cobb

Philadelphia Chapter
9/22/2009 RJC National Women’s Committee luncheon



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Obama addresses joint session of Congress

Speaking of Health Care
President Barack Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress about health care Wednesday night:
READ THE TRANSCRIPT

Tevi Troy offers an alternative version of the President’s speech last night:

We have tried over the last few months to have the majority party in Congress craft a series of bills to address these challenges. Unfortunately, the bills produced under this approach would not solve the main problems we are facing.

I recognize that the bills produced so far cost a trillion dollars, and fail to provide universal coverage. I recognize that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has consistently found that the bills crafted by the majority party do not do what I have asked, and do not achieve what I promised the American people that we would accomplish.

For this reason, I propose that tonight we begin from scratch.
READ MORE

John Hinderaker examines several points in the President’s speech and responds to them. He questions the political effectiveness of the speech:

"Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed."


I’m not sure whether Obama and his handlers understand how this sort of talk grates on those of us who are not liberal Democrats (a large majority of the country). Debating public policy issues is not "bickering." Disagreeing with a proposal to radically change one of the largest sectors of our economy is not a "game." This kind of gratuitous insult–something we never heard from President Bush, for example–is one of the reasons why many consider Obama to be mean-spirited.
READ MORE

Tim Burns, commenting at Powerline, had this to say about Rep. Joe Wilson calling out "You lie!" during the speech:

Joe Wilson’s accusation of lying has already been roundly condemned, as it should be. The presumption of honorableness, and hence of the possibility of honest disagreement, is crucial to the practice of free speech and democratic debate… It’s good to see that Wilson has already sought to apologize.

Trouble is, President Obama has not. And his speech must be condemned on the same grounds as Wilson’s outburst. Before Wilson’s outburst, Obama–delivering prepared remarks–had already accused his opponents of lying–not by name, to be sure, but as "prominent politicians." And in doing so, he explicitly attributed malicious motives to them: "Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple."
READ MORE

Democrats booed President Bush during the 2005 State of the Union address.


health care reform

Health Care Pros and Cons
In case you missed them, here are some notable new resources on the health care debate:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has a new white paper on health care reform – complete with solid, market-based reform proposals that will work.

Keith Hennessey on "Incorrect conventional wisdom about health care reform"

Mark Tapscott writes that "Congress has already exempted itself from Public Option"

The GOP says don’t be fooled, "It’s still government-run health if…"


President Obama

Obama takes unprecedented role at UN

Anne Bayefsky raises a troubling new issue: President Obama’s upcoming role at the United Nations:

Looking for a quick and easy boost in the polls, President Obama has decided to go to the one place where merit bears no relationship to adulation: the United Nations. On September 24, the president will take the unprecedented step of presiding over a meeting of the UN Security Council.

No American president has ever attempted to acquire the image of King of the Universe by officiating at a meeting of the UN’s highest body…

Unfortunately, however, the move represents one of the most dangerous diplomatic ploys this country has ever seen.

Bayefsky points out that the President set the agenda for the session:
"nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament broadly, and not on any specific countries."

…The linguistic formula, which Obama’s confrere Qaddafi will undoubtedly exploit, shamelessly panders to Arab and Muslim states. It is a familiar recipe for stonewalling efforts to prevent Iran or other Muslim and Arab states from acquiring nuclear weapons until Israel is disarmed or Israel’s (unofficial) nuclear capacity is exposed and neutralized. It is also a frequent tool of those whose real goal is to stymie America’s defenses.

Second, Obama’s agenda preference indicates that he is dead-set against chairing a session on the non-proliferation issues already on the council’s plate – those that name Iran and North Korea.
READ MORE


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Dershowitz and Pollak

Buyers’ remorse begins

Alan Dershowitzand Joel Pollak (a popular speaker at RJC chapter events) discussed the Jewish community’s views of President Obama after his first few months in office:

Much of the Jewish community feels "voters’ remorse" as a result of President Barack Obama’s lack of action in support of Israel as well as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s perceived anti-Israel platform, panelists at Harvard University Hillel told more than 100 students and faculty members Tuesday.
READ MORE



Hebrew Obama buttons

Those liberal Jews

Norman Podhoretz offers his insights into the phenomenon of Jewish liberals:

The upshot is that in virtually every instance of a clash between Jewish law and contemporary liberalism, it is the liberal creed that prevails for most American Jews. Which is to say that for them, liberalism has become more than a political outlook. It has for all practical purposes superseded Judaism and become a religion in its own right.
READ MORE

Also looking at Jewish support for Democrats in recent years, Ron Lipsman asks "Are American Jews the Most Foolish Voters in the United States?"

I maintain that the massive, ongoing, enthusiastic and predictable Jewish vote for liberal Democrats is an example of one of the most foolish voting records by any ethnic group in the history of the American republic. The black vote along the same lines is self-destructive and foolish, but there are some bona fide explanations-especially in the last election. On the other hand, as I will show in this article, the sustained allegiance by American Jews to the Left is not only self-destructive and foolish, it is also short-sighted, naïve, ineffective, harmful and ultimately inexcusable.
READ MORE


Chavez-Ahmadinejad

Iran-Venezuela axis is a growing diplomatic, military worry

Robert M. Morgethau examines the emerging axis of Iran and Venezuela:

The diplomatic ties between Iran and Venezuela go back almost 50 years and until recently amounted to little more than the routine exchange of diplomats. With the election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, the relationship dramatically changed.
 
Today Mr. Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez have created a cozy financial, political and military partnership rooted in a shared anti-American animus. Now is the time to develop policies in this country to ensure this partnership produces no poisonous fruit.
READ MORE

Hugo Chavezaccuses Israel of genocide and defends Iran nuclear development, while on his rogue state tour:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in remarks broadcast Saturday that Iran will "not back down" in its quest for peaceful nuclear energy, French news agency AFP reported.

Chavez, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s main ally in Latin America, arrived in Iran Friday after visiting Syria, Libya and Algeria.

…"The state of Israel has become a murderous lackey at the service of imperialism," Chavez said. "It’s a genocidal government. I condemn that Zionist government that persecutes the heroic Palestinian people."
READ MORE


TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
Sign up for the
RJC Leadership Mission to Israel


October 25 – November 2, 2009

Open to members of the RJC leadership ($1000/yr and up).

Program includes tours and briefings with top Israeli officials, military leaders, and strategic thinkers. Previous groups have met with Benjamin Netanyahu, Michael Oren, and Natan Sharansky.

Download the flyer for more information.

To upgrade your membership and sign up for this great opportunity, contact Harris Vederman at 202-638-2909 x106 or grassroots@RJCHQ.org.


Jimmy Carter

What Carter missed in the Middle East

Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abramstakes on former President Carter in the pages of the Washington Post:

In an op-ed on Sunday ["The Elders' View of the Middle East"], former president Jimmy Carter, speaking on behalf of a self-appointed group of "Elders," described a rapacious Israel facing long-suffering, blameless Palestinians, who are contemplating a "nonviolent civil rights struggle" in which "their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela."


As with most of Carter’s recent statements about Israel and the Palestinians, instead of facts we get vignettes from recent Carter travels…
READ MORE

 


Barry Funt

In NJ, RJC’er Barry Funt has a plan

The Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary ran a piece featuring RJC leader Barry Funt, who is running for NJ State Assembly.

All eyes in New Jersey have focused on November’s governor’s race, where Republican upstart Chris Christie looks likely to unseat Democrat Jon Corzine. But a new wrinkle is developing that could also upend many old bulls in the state legislature and help to change a culture of unaccountability that has led to a spate of corruption scandals.
 
Democrats dominate both the state House and Senate with wide-enough majorities to feel secure that no matter what happens, they will still pull the legislative strings next year. In the House, the margin is 48 Democrats to 32 Republicans, with nearly all districts gerrymandered to protect the incumbent.
 
But the ensconced Democrats may not have counted on an unprecedented wave of some 25 Republican challengers — none of whom have held state office before — turning out to run against the Old Bulls. The newbies are doing the kind of grassroots work too often neglected by the state GOP — engaging voters, building up networks of volunteers, canvassing even heavily Democratic neighborhoods. Most of all, the GOP challengers are teaming up. By the end of the month, they plan to unveil on the steps of the state capitol a new "Contract With New Jersey."
 
The plan calls for cutting state mandates that drive up the cost of health insurance as an alternative to ObamaCare, cutting property taxes, instituting school choice and cracking down on crime. None of the items in the 10-point plan is poll-tested or focus-grouped, but they should play well in the Jersey suburbs, where property taxes are among the highest in the nation, where crime is becoming an issue, and where parents and taxpayers are fed up with intransigence and corruption in Trenton.
 
A leader of this rump caucus within the state GOP is Barry Funt, a commercial real estate investor who’s running for state assembly in a district that includes parts of heavily Democratic Newark. We sat down with Mr. Funt twice and walked away each time with the same impression. First, he’s the kind of candidate dangerous for an incumbent: intensely interested and engaged in politics, and too inexperienced to be discouraged by the odds stacked against him.
 
Secondly, like many voters who’ve been turning up for town halls and tea parties across the Garden State, he’s fed up with his state’s political class. Mr. Funt has even floated his own plan to help homeowners while putting pressure on union-controlled Trenton to cut spending — by slashing property taxes and simultaneously shifting a share of the state government’s income tax revenues to the localities.
 
Reportedly, though, neither his tax plan nor the Contract with New Jersey have gotten a warm welcome from his own party’s gubernatorial candidate or New Jersey GOP Chairman Jay Webber. The latter, according to the Web site PolitickerNJ.com, waved off the Contract with New Jersey as too "Republican" to be useful to Mr. Christie’s campaign. Certain GOP county organizations also have instructed their candidates not to participate.
 
All this has Newark Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine worrying that Mr. Christie is resting on his lead and missing an opportunity to finish off Mr. Corzine by recalling the governor’s own unkept promise four years ago to reform property taxes. His advice to Team Christie: Call Barry Funt.


Rep. Elton Gallegly

Congressmen protest anti-Semitic article in Swedish newspaper

RJC friend Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) was among the signers of a congressional letter to the prime minister of Sweden, protesting the article published in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet which accused Israel Defense Forces soldiers of killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.

"Given the far-reaching implications for this article, which raises the unfortunate specter of similar blood libels and spurious charges that have been directed at Jews throughout the centuries, it is critical that your government unequivocally repudiate and reject the heinous allegations expressed in this article," wrote Congressmen Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Elton Gallegly (R-CA), members on the Subcommittee on Europe, in a letter to the Swedish prime minister.

September 11, 2001

Remembering 9/11/01

Cliff May examines where we are now in the long war against militant Islam:

If this struggle is too much for the present generation, we will deserve what comes in its place. Americans used to say that freedom is not free, that it must be earned by generation after generation. That sounds hokey to 21st-century ears, I know. That doesn’t make it less true.

Our enemies believe history and God are on their side. They are eager to fight for victory – which they define as bringing death, destruction, and humiliation to you and your children. They say this plainly in their speeches and sermons. They are not seriously attempting to delude anyone. Rather, they are counting on us to delude ourselves. Eight years after 9/11, with many on the left and the right arguing for retreat, and a president who doesn’t appear to know his own mind, can anyone say with confidence that they are wrong?
READ MORE

 

Army Major Thane J. Thompson was in the reserves, working for Morgan Stanley on the 61st floor of WTC Tower II, at the time of the 9/11 attacks. His recollections of the day can be found on the New Majority web site, here.



Please take a few moments tomorrow,
on September 11, to:
  • Remember those who were killed in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania on that day and the other victims of Islamic terrorism in Israel and around the world;
  • Thank a member of our armed forces for their service in protecting our country and our families;
  • Learn more about militant Islam, its goals, and its methods by watching two important movies on the subject, Obsession and The Third Jihad.



September 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Never forget…

Again, below is the post from last year.  But there is nothing to add.  Just remember…

September 11, 2001 – another date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the Islamo-Fascist forces of Al-Qaeda.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Al-Qaeda on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a state of war has existed between the United States and the followers of Islamo-Fascist ideology along with their supporters.

Bookworm has some good links, as well as her own posts memorializing 9/11 here, here and here.

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September 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Obama’s speech to schoolkids

Tomorrow the President is giving his speech to American schoolchildren.  There has been some controversy: some people are worried that some leftist agenda will be pushed.  My younger daughter is in kindergarten, and her teacher wisely decided that the kids in her class are simply too young for this.  I like my younger daughter’s teacher: she has some common sense.

My older daughter is in 3rd grade.  I e-mailed her teacher, asking for his plans regarding the speech, but he hasn’t replied yet.  I have to say, I am disappointed by this lack of reply.  But the speech itself is available on line.  So, go read it, especially if you have kids in school.  Having read it, I have to say that the speech itself does not concern me.  It is simply an admonishment to do well in school.  The teacher’s presentation might still get screwed up and tilted toward some leftist agenda, but one can hardly blame Obama for that.  So, read the speech.  Since Obama likes using a teleprompter, he is unlikely to deviate from the speech, as it is written.  And I doubt there is a second version to be presented, insidiously created to fool the parents.  So, there is no reason to worry about the speech itself.  Just look out for the teacher’s presentation and make sure your kids are prepared for it.

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September 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

   

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